TCM and Emory University Center for Ethics Celebrate The 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

This year-long celebration honoring Mary Shelley’s landmark novel commenced in March with an original portrait of Frankenstein’s creation sponsored by Turner Classic Movies by renowned portrait artist, Ross Rossin. Mr. Rossin’s portrait depicts his interpretation of Shelley’s mythic creation, imagined apart from the classic movie depictions that we are familiar with and that often come to mind.

Turner Classic Movies will be showcasing Frankenstein movies during the month of October with two nights of programming and will also feature the U.S. Premiere of the documentary, The Frankenstein Myth, which explores Shelley’s novel and its theme: man’s quest for the secret of life.

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Watch The Making Of The Rossin Portrait:

One of the most acclaimed and influential works of science fiction ever written, ‘Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus’ continues to shape debates surrounding science and its complications. Published in 1818 by 19 year-old Mary Shelley, this tale is now permanently a part of global contemporary pop culture.

On the occasion of the Bicentennial anniversary of the publishing of the monumental novel, Rossin unveiled a bold, creative re-imagination of this timeless figure. Rossin spent the 2017-2018 year on the campus of Emory University as the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Artist in Residence through the Ethics & the Arts Program at the Emory University Center for Ethics.

Print Now Available! Signed By Ross Rossin

A limited number of fine art prints signed by Ross Rossin will be made available to the public along with an exclusive 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein poster.

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Framed picture of Rossin's Frankenstein
Rossin’s selfie with his Frankenstein’s Creation
Rossin’s selfie with his Frankenstein’s Creation

Short Biography Ross Rossin

Rossin has established his reputation as one of the world’s leading portrait painters. The Bulgarian-born American artist and his family relocated to the United States in 2001. Throughout the 1990’s Rossin traveled intensively around the world, exhibiting and working on commissions in Western Europe and Japan. Rossin has four portraits on display in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC: Ambassador Andrew Young, baseball legend Hank Aaron, famed actor Morgan Freeman and the portrait of legendary poet and civil rights leader Dr. Maya Angelou completed shortly before her death. In 2015, a US Forever Postage stamp was unveiled in Washington, DC, featuring Rossin’s image of Angelou. Rossin has created exhibitions for governments in numerous world capitals.

Visit The Artist's Website
Ross Rossin signing his work.

Overview: Frankenstien's Creation

One of the most acclaimed and influential works of science fiction ever written, ‘Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus’ continues to shape debates surrounding science and its complications. Published in 1818 by 19 year-old Mary Shelley this tale is now permanently a part of global contemporary pop culture. Countless movies have been made about Victor Frankenstein and his creation. But most of these Hollywood depictions stray far from the image of the creation portrayed in Shelley’s manuscript. On the occasion of the Bicentennial anniversary of the publishing of the monumental novel, Rossin unveiled a bold, creative re-imagination of this timeless figure. Rossin spent the 2017-2018 year on the campus of Emory University as the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Artist in Residence through the Ethics & the Arts Program at the Emory University Center for Ethics. The unique program is committed to inspiring innovative thought by using creative expression to elevate moral discourse; bringing together communities while prompting ethical dialogue between students, artists, scholars, and the general public.

“Ross Rossin was a singularly powerful addition to the arts community on the Emory campus,” said Carlton Mackey, director of the Ethics and the Arts Program as the program began in September of 2017. “His portraiture art is not only masterful in its technical and artistic merit, but is also a catalyzing force for igniting critical not only masterful in its technical and artistic merit, but is also a catalyzing force for igniting critical conversations around current ethical and social issues.”

Rossin’s residency featured the painting and unveiling of his 6 foot portrait called Frankenstein’s Creation at a major event as a part of FACE, the Frankenstein Anniversary Celebration at Emory. This year-long series of events including a lecture series focused on the religious and cultural aspects of the novel and an interdisciplinary seminar for graduates and undergraduates conceived of by Center for Ethics Director, Dr. Paul Root Wolpe. “[Frankenstein] is a permanent part of the dialogue about the dilemmas we face in technological advancement, scientific experimentation and research, bioethics, artificial intelligence, stem cell research and innovation,” says Wolpe.

Rossin with Bill Nigut of Georgia Public Broadcasting at the unveiling of the portrait in the Schwartz Performing Arts Center
Rossin with Bill Nigut of Georgia Public Broadcasting at the unveiling of the portrait in the Schwartz Performing Arts Center

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) served as the exclusive sponsor of FACE and a partner of the Ethics & the Arts Program. They produced a series of videos about this project that will be featured on TCM in 2018 along with Frankenstein 200th anniversary film programming.

TCM produced a video that documented the making of the portrait and another video of the event that unveiled the portrait. Rossin’s new depiction of Frankenstein’s creation highlights the broad influence and implications of the landmark novel. Rossin envisioned not the standard movie portrayal, but a portrait based on his vision of Shelley’s intent.

Ross Rossin on Mary Shelley’s Creation
“It’s precisely Mary Shelley’s youth that inspired me to approach my subject differently. Unlike all other portrayals before, I prefer to see the Creature as a young man. Dr. Frankenstein intended to create something beautiful, young, powerful and promising, like Prometheus. The Creature was supposed to have a future, open a new chapter in human history.”